Thursday, September 27, 2007

BSPT Batch D Reunion: Some Video Clips

Last September 22, 2007 my BSPT (NSDB-PNC Proj. 7405 Ed. at Philippine Normal College) friends and I had a mini-reunion in Makati City (See http://raffysaldana.blogspot.com/2007/09/class-reunion-dinner-and-bowling-in.html)

Below are some video clips of the BSPT Batch D taken during our mini-reunion:

1. Dinner in Makati:

http://booleanlogic.multiply.com/video/item/7

2. Bowling, Part 1.

http://booleanlogic.multiply.com/video/item/8

3. Bowling Part 2.

http://booleanlogic.multiply.com/video/item/9/BSPT_Reunion_Bowling_in_Makati_Part_2_92207


Cheers,

Raffy
9/27/07

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An Update on Breast Cancer Treatment

(Photo caption: A mammogram shows a malignant tumor. Source:http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/sept/mammograms)

"Breast cancer is the second most common cancer killer of women, after lung cancer. It will be diagnosed in 1.2 million people globally this year and will kill 500,000."

"The Philippines has one of the leading breast cancer incidence in Asia. "

My only sister, Ate Lorie, died of breast cancer in 1995. She was already in stage 4 (advanced stage) when she had her mastectomy and chemotherapy. Ate Lorie died at the age of 39.

My sister's death had a great impact in my life. At the time when she was confined in the hospital (for two months) I was her "caregiver." I practically lived with her in the hospital during her confinement. At that time, I was teaching fulltime while doing my doctoral thesis revisions.

My Ph.D. thesis (at Monash University, Australia) deals with mathematical modeling and computer simulations of muscle contraction and cell motility. This is somehow related to cancer research, considering that my supervisor (Dr. David Smith) and I investigated a model of amoeboid movement which has implications to T-cells and the immune system.

It has been said that early detection of breast cancer increases the chance of cure from the disease. This makes me wonder always: If the tumor in my sister's breast was detected early, then she might have survived from the disease and she would have been alive today.

The death of my sister due to breast cancer is one of the significant factors why I am doing work related to cancer. So far, I have done modeling studies on tumor growth using cellular automata and investigated algorithms for image segmentation of digital mammograms.

Today (9/26/07) I encountered an article on the NET about a medical procedure developed by German cancer researchers. The report was presented at the European Cancer Conference held on September 23-27, 2007 in Barcelona, Spain.

The title of the article is "Simple test may help predict breast cancer return" and it was written by Michael Kahn (See: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/cancer_cells_dc;_ylt=An7jzXEaPEdMfA1X4fUoW3Mo.YMA).


Below is a summary of the report:


  • A simple test to measure tumor cells circulating in the blood could make it easier to tell which breast cancer patients are at greatest risk of their cancer returning after treatment.

  • Detecting these cells might also help doctors tailor chemotherapy treatments to make them more effective and reduce healthcare costs along the way.

  • The study is important because it is one of the largest of its kind to investigate whether measuring such tumor cells can help predict the chances of cancer returning.

  • Researchers have known about these cells for about 20 years and are now exploring the role they may play in cancer and studying ways to measure them. The cells themselves are considered dormant and are not believed to be harmful until they leave the bloodstream and settle on an organ.

  • The researchers think that the level of circulating tumor cells will predict the recurrence in cancer. This implies that in low risk patients, an oncologist could use less aggressive treatments.

  • The German team has so far analyzed blood samples taken from 1,767 breast cancer patients at diagnosis and during chemotherapy and compared the results to those obtained from 852 of the same patients when they finished their treatment.


  • The results show that of the patients who initially tested positive for circulating tumor cells (CTCs), 10 percent tested positive for them after chemotherapy. Of those who were initially negative, 93 percent remained negative after treatment.

  • The researchers think that the persistence of CTCs after chemotherapy treatment is likely to be predictive of the likelihood of recurrence of cancer in these patients.

  • Researchers have also used bone marrow to detect circulating tumor cells but that technique is more difficult to use so it is not performed widely. It can also be painful for the patient. A simple blood screen could mean that patients who need extra chemotherapy will get it, while those who do not will not have to endure weeks or months of extra treatments.

  • Final results may be attainable in the next five years. If they are as what the researchers expect, there could be an improvement in breast cancer treatments.

Raffy
9/26/07

Monday, September 24, 2007

SIPNAYAN 2007: Inter-School Math Contest in Ateneo






Note: Last Saturday (9/22/07) I watched Sipnayan 2007 -- a math contest for grade school students. The event was organized by the Ateneo Mathematical Society (AMS). One of the contestants is my godchild, Chloe, who represented St. Theresa's College (Grade School Department). Although St. Theresa's College did not make it to the semi-final round, Chloe (who is only a grade five student) had a great time and a valuable experience.
.
The math contest was attended by several leading schools in Metro Manila. The Contest Judges are Ms. Debbie Marie Bautista, Mr. Enrico Paolo Bugarin, and Mr. Christian Robert Canlas, who are all faculty and staff members of the Ateneo Mathematics Department.
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Congratulations to the Ateneo Mathematical Society (AMS) for successfully organizing Sipnayan 2007!
.
Cheers,
9/25/07

Sunday, September 23, 2007

BSPT Batch D Class Reunion: Dinner and Bowling in Makati

Note: Last Saturday (9/22/07) my BSPT (Batch D) classmates (at Philippine Normal College) and I had a mini-reunion at the Glorietta Mall in Makati City. Tess (who is based in Tokyo, Japan) is in town for a few days. (The last time Tess and I met was in July 2007 when I visited her in Tokyo). After having dinner our group went to a bowling center. We had lots of fun reminiscing our student days and talking about our escapades in college. Those who made it to the reunion are (standing from left to right): Raffy, Ruby, Tess, Morey, Cora, Ferdie, Erwin, and Ronald). We missed many of our classmates who did not make it to the reunion: those based abroad -- Loy (in Chicago, Illinois, USA), Joy (in Los Angeles, California, USA), Daniel (in Phoenix, Arizona, USA), Toto (in Toronto, Canada), Vangie (in Singapore), and Elliot (in the Middle East ?) and those in the Philippines --Kim, Ivan, Jesse, Jun, Rolly, Irwin, Godo, Ramon, Paxy, and Alelli.

Hopefully, during our next class reunion, there will be more of us.

The more, the merrier :)

Cheers,

Raffy
9/24/07

















































Gospel Reflection: September 23, 2007

This Sunday's Gospel Reading is taken from the Gospel According to St. Luke (16:1-13):

Jesus said to his disciples:

“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.

If, therefore, you are not trustworthy with dishonest wealth,
who will trust you with true wealth?

If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to another,
who will give you what is yours?

No servant can serve two masters.

He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.

You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

(Lk: 16:10-13).


In his column today in the Philippine Star, Fr. Ruben M. Tanseco, S.J. (my former teacher at the Loyola School of Theology) explains the meaning of mammon: "Riches regarded as an object of worship and greedy pursuit."

In contemporary language, the word mammon is equated with money.

And so, the Bible tells us that we cannot be disciples of Jesus if we are enslaved by love of money or material wealth.

For indeed, the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10).

Today's Gospel reading is very relevant to contemporary Philippine society, considering that 'corruption in government' is one of the burning issues of the day.

Can we trust our elected officials with our nation's wealth?

I wish and pray that our leaders, especially our government officials (from the President down to the barangay chairpersons) would heed the message of Jesus in today's Gospel reading.

Raffy
9/23/07

Friday, September 21, 2007

'Seasons of Love' by the Ateneo Blue Repertory: The Video


(Photo caption: Members of the Ateneo Blue Repertory singing 'Seasons of Love' during a performance at Ateneo de Manila University last September 21, 2007. Photo by Raffy Saldaña.)

'Seasons of Love' is a popular song from the Broadway hit musical, 'Rent'. This song was one of the songs performed by the talented members of the Ateneo Blue Repertory during the Annual Faculty Appreciation and Dice Game organized by Celadon (See my blog post on Ateneo Celadon's Confucius Awards).

I took a video of their performance and uploaded it in my multiply.com account. Below is the link to the video clip:

http://booleanlogic.multiply.com/video/item/4

and the lyrics of the song, 'Seasons of Love':

COMPANY

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes- how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love?
Measure in love.
Seasons of love.

SOLOIST

1525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan.
525,600 minutes - how can you measure the life of a woman or man?

SOLOIST 2

In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.

COMPANY

It's time now to sing out,
though the story never ends
let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love! Remember the love! Remember the love!
Measure in love.
Seasons of love!
Seasons of love.

(Source: http://www.allmusicals.com/)

Raffy
9/22/07

Ateneo Celadon's Confucius Awards

(Photo caption: With colleagues from the Mathematics Department of Ateneo and some students during Celadon's Dice Game, 9/21/07).

Last night (9/21/02) I attended the Annual Faculty Appreciation and Dice Game held at the Manny V. Pangilinan Center for Student Leadership (MVP CSL) Roofdeck of the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). The event was organized by Celadon, the official Filipino Chinese organization of ADMU. I participated in the event together with some of my colleagues from the Mathematics Department.


One of the highlights of the evening was the Confucious Awards. Several of my Math Department colleagues were nominated and many won awards. The winners include Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, Ramil Bataller, and Timothy Teng. Timothy won the Male Crush Ng Bayan Award :)

Another highlight was the song numbers from the Blue Repertory. The group sang popular Broadway songs to the delight of the audience.

Yet another highlight was the Dice Game. It was fun and everyone won minor prizes.

Thanks to the Ateneo Celadon for a wonderful and enjoyable night!


Cheers,

9/22/07

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Information Technology and Sen. Francis 'Kiko' Pangilinan


(Photo captions: Philippine Senate Majority Floor Leader Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan is shown while giving an inspirational talk to the Y4IT '07 participants. Photos taken by Raffy Saldaña.)

Note: During the Philippine Youth Congress in Information Technology '07 held September 12 - 14, 2007 at SM City North Edsa (See http://raffysaldana.blogspot.com/2007/09/y4it-2007-philippine-youth-for.html), I met Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, the Philippine Senate Majority Floor Leader. I gave the Opening Remarks on September 14, and Senator Kiko was one of the speakers after my talk. We had a brief chat during the break and I asked him about the status of the automation of the Philippine elections (Note: I was a member of the Senate Technical Working Group that pushed for the automation of the Philippine elections). Senator Kiko told me that he supports the automation.

Below is the message of Sen. Kiko Pangilinan to the participants of Y4IT '07:

"
My congratualtions to the organizers and participants of this year's Philippine Youth Congress in Information Technology (Y4IT)!

It is a personal privilege to have been part of the UP Information Technology Training Center's Y4IT Congress for years now. We beleive that young Filipinos, armed with the amazing power of technology, are in the frontline of national transformation. We thus support the UPITTC in its thrust of bringinging together th Philippine youth's finest and equipping them with necessary information and skills that will allow them to harness their full potentials.

I continue to challenge our young people to dedicate their talents and know-how in information technology in addressing the pressing concerns of our citizenry. Offer yourselves to the greater cause of national service and progress!

Mabuhay kayo!

KIKO PANGILINAN
Philippine Senate Majority Leader


Raffy
The Pisay '77 Blogger

9/21/07

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Congratulations, Dr. Josette Biyo


Yesterday (9/19/07) I read in a leading newspaper that my colleague, Dr. Josette Biyo is one of the recipients of the 2007 Presidential or Lingkod Bayan Award given by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) of the Philippines.

The CSC held this year’s “Parangal… Pasasalamat”, an annual awards rites which caps the seven month-long search for Outstanding Public Officials and Employees. This is where CSC awards exemplary individuals and groups in government the Presidential Lingkod Bayan, Dangal ng Bayan and Pagasa Awards.

Dr. Josette Biyo is currently the Director of Philippine Science High School - Western Visayas Campus in Iloilo City, Philippines.

I first met Josette several years ago when she was a Ph.D. student at De La Salle University (DLSU-Manila) and later as a co-faculty member at the College of Science of DLSU. In her desire to go back and serve her hometown, Josette transferred to PSHS Western Visayas and became a special science instructor. I met Josette again in Cleveland, Ohio in May 2002 during the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) -- she was an invited speaker at the Teachers' Academy while I was a Grand Awards Judge in the international science and engineering competition.

Josette is a multi-awarded teacher. Among her major awards include:

1. Intel Excellence in Teaching Award

2. Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Teacher Award

3. Ten Outstanding Young Filipino Award

Congratulations, Josette! The Pisay community is proud of you and your achievements.

Cheers,

9/20/07

'The Power Of The Human Spirit': A Speech By An Outstanding Teacher

Note: In another blog post I congratulated my colleague, Dr. Josette Biyo for being awarded the 2007 Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award by the Civil Service Commission of the Philippines (See http://raffysaldana.blogspot.com/2007/09/congratulations-dr-josette-biyo.html).

Aside from being an excellent teacher, Josette is also a popular public speaker. Below is the text of a speech she delivered to San Miguel's Best Practices Forum at the Edsa Shangrila on October 24, 2003 (The speech is available on the Net).


[startofquote]

"Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

For a high school teacher to speak before a large group of business executives for the first time is overwhelming. But it is indeed a great honor and a privilege to speak to the group of people who is responsible for making San Miguel Corporation the top food and beverage company in the country, and on its way to becoming one of the top companies in the Asia-Pacific. I am here to talk about “The Power of the Human Spirit.”

Indeed, the human spirit has no limits. If you dream big, and you have the determination and the will to pursue your dream, it will become a reality. I dreamt of making stars; I was given a planet.

A few months ago, I was featured in the local, national and international newspapers. I caused a stir to be the first Asian teacher to win the “Intel Excellence in Teaching Award” in an international competition held in the U.S. Since its inception in 1997, no Asian teacher has received this award.

But I think what created waves was, I am a Filipino, and I defeated 4,000 other teachers from around the world, including the American finalists in their hometown. Because of this, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory in Boston named a Minor Planet in my honor. There is now a Planet Biyo rotating around the sun which is located between Mars and Jupiter.

What made me win in this international competition? What made me stand out from among the best teachers in the world? My road to attaining this international recognition is a very long 23 years of improving and harnessing my craft as a teacher. I consistently study and learn new skills to improve my method of teaching. I want my methods to be interesting, relevant, and fun for students. For just like any product, the measure of teaching success is clientele satisfaction. I finished a B.S. Biology degree from U.P. in the Visayas hoping to be a medical doctor. For lack of financial resources however, I took the first job opportunity available- teaching. Never did I regret this twist of fate. The day I entered the classroom, I knew I would be an excellent teacher.

My first eight years of teaching were spent in a rural school. For lack of teachers in proportion to the number of students, I taught not only biology, but also other subjects outside my field such as English, Music, and Physical Education. The materials, equipment, and facilities for the type of effective teaching I had in mind were absent. These challenges however did not dampen my enthusiasm for the job. In fact, I became more creative and innovative. I believe that teaching and learning should not be confined within the classroom. Even during those first few years of teaching, I see to it that the science concepts I discuss inside the class would have social dimensions. Thus, I took an active role in school as moderator of the Rural Health and Science Education Committee. I designed outreach programs for students and teachers. Through these programs, students were trained to teach primary health care to the people in the barangays. They also taught barrio folks how to make cough syrup from plant extracts and soap from coconut oil. Students also gave lectures on environmental protection and conservation. Those eight years of teaching in a rural school has prepared me for greater challenges ahead. Working with the children of the poor has instilled in me the importance of service, compassion, and respect for human dignity. I have learned to love teaching, and I see it as an instrument for transforming the person and the community.

After eight years of teaching however, I felt I had nothing more to give to my students. I resigned from my teaching job and enrolled as a full time M.S. in Biology student at De La Salle University in Manila. I was lucky to get a scholarship which included free tuition and a monthly stipend. To augment my stipend, I taught as part-time lecturer in the Biology department and worked as research assistant by one of the senior researchers in the university. This I did on top of my full-time MS load. I was so engrossed with my studies however, that I finished my M.S. degree in one year and five months only, after which, DLSU took me in as a full time assistant professor.

Teaching college students at De La Salle University was an entirely new experience. With modern and sophisticated equipment at my disposal, my world opened to the wonders of scientific research. However, I still value the importance of nature as a big laboratory such that in my ecology classes, I would bring my students to the seas of Batangas, the rivers of Rizal, and the lahar-affected areas of Pampanga to conduct field studies. Pursuing my Ph. D. while teaching also enabled me to conduct researches which were presented in the country and abroad. Research is very exciting. It means sleepless nights, disappointments, physical and mental exhaustion. But the joy of discovering something new in nature makes it all worthwhile.

While Manila has provided me with opportunities for professional growth, I still feel that my heart is in Iloilo. Thus, with an additional degree and one additional son, I brought back my family to Iloilo in summer of 1995. In June 1995, Philippine Science High School Western Visayas hired me as a Special Science Teacher. Only on its third year of existence, the school welcomed my suggestions and expertise. I helped develop its Science Research curriculum and introduced some innovations for teaching the course. Barely a year of teaching at Pisay, I realized that my role was not only to teach students but to train teachers as well. This I do by organizing workshops for teachers in the region.

One day, I received a letter from the students. The letter said, “Dear Ma’am Josette, we know you are being groomed for directorship of the school, and you would want to be the director someday, given the chance. The thing is, we don’t want you to be the director. We just want you to be a teacher. Pisay needs teachers like you. The Philippines needs teachers like you.” Their letter touched me deeply.

When I won the Metrobank Foundation Award in 1997 as one of the outstanding teachers in the country, the Pisay community gave me a poster. The poster was a white cartolina filled with signatures of students, teachers, and the non-teaching staff. In the center was a painting of a rose, and the message which says, “You are the song that plays so softly in our hearts; that gives us inspiration to aim for greater heights and bigger dreams. Congratulations. We are so proud of you.”

In 1998, I won another national award as one of “The Outstanding Young Filipino” formerly known as the TOYM in the field of Secondary Education.

Last year, I won the “2002 Intel Excellence in Teaching Award” in an international competition held at Louisville, Kentucky from May 10-17. In Kentucky, I presented to the panel of judges and to about 150 teachers from all over the world my method of teaching Science Research to my students in Iloilo. I told them that the Philippines is a third world country blessed with abundant natural resources. However, we face problems such as the rapidly declining environment and the lack of equipment and facilities for scientific endeavors.
Faced with this situation, I introduced innovations and strategies for teaching the course. These innovations included: a) building a scientific library, b) conducting field studies, c) establishing linkages with research institutions in the country, d) holding science forums in school, and e) teaching students laboratory and field techniques which would help them in the conduct of their research work. The judges and teachers from different parts of the world were amazed that even in the absence of sophisticated equipment, my students were able to produce quality research outputs beyond their expectations. At this point in time, let me show to you what we do in our Science Research class… ( a five minute power point presentation of my class activities).

I went to Kentucky with three high school students from the Manila Science High School, and one student from the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. These students competed in the International Science and Engineering Fair which was held back to back with the teaching competition. The students from Manila Science competed for a team project in Physics, while the student from Iligan competed for the individual category in the field of Microbiology. These students were competing with 1,200 other students from around the world. May 17, 2002 was a glorious moment for the Philippine delegation in the U.S. When it was announced that the student from Iligan won second place grand award for Microbiology, our delegation was ecstatic. When it was announced that the students from Manila Science won first place grand award for Physics, our group was delirious. When the grand award for “Excellence Teaching” was announced, and for the first time in the history of the event an Asian teacher won, and a Filipino, there was a standing ovation from the crowd as the Philippine flag was waved in the air.

The Philippine delegation’s road to success in Kentucky was far from smooth. We almost never made it to the U.S. Our visa interview was scheduled on May 29 when we were supposed to be competing in the U.S. by May 10. Almost desperate, we went to the Department of Foreign Affairs for help, only to be told that the Office cannot give us an endorsement letter to the U.S. Embassy because they cannot guarantee that we are coming back. It was a painful experience for me and the students. Anyway, we were able to get our visa on the last minute the most unconventional way, and brought glory to this country.

Let me show to you the scenario during the first day of the teaching competition…. When I entered the judging area, one table in front was occupied by the board of judges. At the right side of the room, the table was occupied by the finalist from China and her supporters. The table at the left side was occupied by the finalists from U.S.. and their supporters. The center table for the Filipino finalist was empty. I sat there alone. I went to the U.S. bringing a CD for my presentation. I also brought some transparencies and a white board pen in case my CD won’t work. Coming from a third world country, I was prepared for the worst. It turned out, I was the only finalist without a notebook computer. Luckily, one American finalist lend me his computer; but before doing so, he gave me a brief lecture on the parts of the computer and its use. I was the fourth presenter. When it was my turn to present, a panel member asked if I needed an interpreter. I said, “No thanks.” A personnel from Intel volunteered to run my presentation. I said, “I can do it.” After my presentation, they said, “Wow, you’re so cool. You know more than us!”

What am I telling you? That despite our country’s limited resources, Filipinos can compete globally given the proper training, support and exposure. Our winning at the international scene may not reflect the general condition of science education in the country. But with our concerted efforts, my dear fellowmen, we can move this country forward and show the world that we are a globally competitive race.

Last May, I was in Cleveland, Ohio to present my methods of teaching to 150 teachers from 17 countries. I also served as the team facilitator for the Spanish-speaking teachers from Brazil, Costa Rica and Argentina. Last August, I gave a demonstration lesson to educators from the third world countries of Laos and Cambodia. Filipinos are indeed talented and will excel at the international level in their individual capacity. But as a country, we lag behind. This is because we lack the spirit of community which is very strong among progressive nations. When I went home to Iloilo after the competition in the U.S., my school gave me a very warm welcome.

During the convocation, students and teachers expressed how proud they are of me. I told them, “I am very proud of you too. It is you who has brought me to where I am now. Our experiences together has brought world attention to the fact that hey, there’s a world-class school out there in Iloilo; a school with world-class teachers and students. I told the teachers and I quote Mr. De Quiros that “being world-class doesn’t mean going internationally and showing our best out there. Being world-class is passion and commitment to our profession. Being world-class is giving our best to teaching. Being world-class starts right inside the classroom.”

In winning this international award, I do not claim to be the best teacher of the land. There are thousands of best teachers out there, working silently, giving their hearts to teaching, without thinking of benefits or rewards. I salute these teachers. In winning this award, I believe I was just commissioned by somebody up there to deliver the message that indeed, Filipino teachers can be world-class teachers. In winning this award, I have shown to the world that Filipinos can be world-class if they choose to be. And more importantly, I have shown to my fellow Filipinos that they can be world-class if they choose to be. That if we do our best, we can conquer the world.

During the panel interview in the U.S., one judge asked me, “You have a Ph.D. in Biology, why do you teach in high school?” I answered, “And who will teach these kids?” Another judge asked if how much am I paid for all my pains. They were shocked when I told them that I am getting a net pay of not more than $300 a month.

When your job becomes your mission, your primary concern is giving your best in everything you do. Knowing that you have contributed significantly towards the creation of a product which can make a difference in your company and the larger community is reward in itself. Believe in what you are doing. Believe that you can make a difference. Believing however doesn’t mean you have to stop from where you are now. Believing is improving your skills and maximizing your potential. With determination and the will to win, your company can conquer the world.

As members of the San Miguel Family, you are lucky to take part in the production of high quality and accessible consumer products that can be found in every Filipino home. Your skills do not only contribute to the development of the country’s economy, but you also bring out the spirit of fun, joy, and laughter into the lives of the people; thus helping make everyday life a celebration. Your capable hands can paint a true image of the Filipino as a people- intelligent, hard-working, passionate, fun-loving, creative, innovative, “magaling!.” You could paint one bright picture of this country and its people - by your achievements in the workplace, your teamwork, integrity, passion for success, and your discharge of civic responsibilities. You can show the world that you are the new technocrats, capable and willing to meet the challenges of the new order of market globalization. You can show the world that you are the new citizenry, capable of making this country a worthy member of the league of peace-loving nations.

Be proud!

Thank you very much. "

[endofquote]

Raffy
The Pisay '77 Blogger
9/20/07

Call For Participation: Lectures on Digital Signal Processing

Note: The following call for participation was forwarded to me today by my colleague, Dr. Caslon L. Chua, Dean of the College of Computer Studies of De La Salle University, Manila. Caslon is currently the Vice-President of the Computing Society of the Philippines.

INVITATION TO LECTURES ON:

"Can Computers Now Understand Sites and Sounds? Cutting Edge Researches in Digital Signal Processing"

Date: November 12, 2007
Venue: College of Computer Studies, De La Salle University, Taft Avenue, Manila

Speaker: Prof Chin-Hui Lee will give lectures on Automatic Speech Recognition in two Asian countries to promote speech and language science, technology and research. He has been appointed as one of the two Distinguished Lecturers for the year 2007 by the International Speech Communication Association (ISCA, the international academic organization in speech and language technology). For details of ISCA and its Distinguished Lecturers Program, you can visit http://www.isca-speech.org/DistinguishedLec.html.


Prof Chin-Hui Lee’s research areas include Human Computer Interface, Multimedia Communication, Multimedia Signal Processing, Speech and Audio Processing, Machine Learning, Pattern Recognition and Verification. Dr. Lee is a Fellow of the IEEE. He has published more than 250 papers and 25 patents on the subject of automatic speech and speaker recognition. He received the SPS Senior Award in 1994 and the SPS Best Paper Award in 1997 and 1999, respectively. In 1997, he was awarded the prestigious Bell Labs President's Gold Award for his contributions to the Lucent Speech Processing Solutions product.

Distinguished talks will also be rendered to us by experts in Philippine languages, Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara of UP-Diliman and Dr. Vladimir Mariano from UP Los Banos. Dr. Guevara will talk about their work in language analysis through speech recognition, and Dr. Mariano will talk about other applications of DSP in image processing. Ms. Jocelyn Cu will also present DSP researches conducted at DLSU-Manila.


PROGRAM (Tentative)

November 12, 2007 (Monday)

Registration

9:00 – 9:10 Opening Ceremonies
Prayer National Anthem Opening Remarks

9:10 – 10:30 Dr. Chin-Hui Lee Statistical Natural Language Processing: Lessons from Automatic Speech Recognition

10:40 – 12:00 Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, UP-Diliman Speech Research at the UP Signal Processing Laboratory

LUNCH BREAK

1:00 – 2:20 Dr. Vladimir Mariano UP at Los Banos Digital Signal Processing Applications

2:30 – 3:30 Ms. Jocelyn Cu DSP Researches at DLSU-M

3:30 - 4:00 Closing Ceremonies

Registration:

There is no registration fee to attend the Lectures on DSP, so materials and meals will not be provided. There are limited slots; so please pre-register as soon as you can. Initially, we have to limit the number of participants to five from each institution.

Pre-registration Information:

Please provide the organizers with the following pre-registration information:

Name, Institutional Affiliation, Email Address, Contact Number


Organizers:

These lectures are organized by the Natural Language Processing Academic Area (NLP-AA) and the Computer Technology Department of the College of Computer Studies of De La Salle University-Manila. We support and promote research in the field, and we organize this event to cultivate awareness of the current trends in Digital Signal Processing focusing on Speech Recognition and Image Processing applications.

Contact Details:

For inquiries, please contact the program chair, Dr. Rachel Roxas (roxasr@dlsu.edu.ph), Mr. Clement Ong ( ongc@dlsu.edu.ph) or Ms. Sheng Mejia at (02) 524-0402 or (02)-536 0277/78.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Math-Hiwaga: In Support of Mathematics Education
































From Ms. Debbie Bautista, one of our instructors in the Mathematics Deparment of Ateneo de Manila University:

"Through the many encounters we have with different students, we have observed how many students continue to have a superficial knowledge of basic math concepts even in the tertiary level.

This has drawn us to set-up a math facility that will provide and train elementary teachers with the use and benefits of teaching aids such as concrete manipulatives, printed material, and enrichment tasks suitable for classroom instruction.

This project is also supervised by the Social Innovations class under theDevelopment Studies program and the Ateneo School of Government. This class serves as a university incubator for social entrepreneurs fusing theoretical andpractical approaches.

It takes students out of the classroom to join hands with corporate executives, government, professionals, NGO leaders and social entrepreneurship practitioners to change the world.
Currently at the start-up stage we have established contact with the Department of Education which approved our plans to implement this long term project inBetty Go-Belmonte Elementary School."

For more information about the Math-Hiwaga project, contact:

Ms. Debbie Bautista
Tel. +63 2 4266125


A Surprise Birthday Party for Dr. Jumela Sarmiento







Yesterday (9/17/07) we had a surprise birthday party at the Math Department (of Ateneo de Manila University). It was the birthday of my colleague, Dr. Jumela "Jume" Sarmiento, former Math Department chairperson and project coordinator of the recently concluded CIMPA-IMAMIS-Philippines School.

Our "Social Directress", Ms. Eurlyne Domingo, organized the surprise birthday party for Jume.

Happy Birthday, Jume!

Cheers,
9/18/07

Invitation Letter for the Philippine ICPC 2007

To download a copy of an invitation letter and a pre-registration form for the 1st Philippine National Inter-Collegiate Programming Competition (Philippine ICPC 2007) to be held on October 20, 2007 (Saturday), at De La Salle University - Canlubang Campus in Laguna, click on the following links:

To request for a copy (original or fax copy) of the invitation letter, contact the ICPC 2007 Secretariat at tel. (02) 426-6125, E-mail: computingsoc@gmail.com

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Philippine ICPC 2007 Update (9/16/07)

(Figure Caption: Location Map of DLSU-Canlubang, Venue of Philippine ICPC 2007)


PHILIPPINE ICPC 2007

Organized by the Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP), the First Philippine National Inter-Collegiate Programming Competition (Philippine ICPC 2007) is a preliminary event affiliated with the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.

1. Date and Venue:

Date: 20 October 2007 (Saturday)
Venue: De La Salle University-Canlubang Campus, Laguna
(Click on link to view map)

2. Registration:

The Philippine ICPC 2007 is a team competition. Each team consists of three (3) student contestants and a coach. The student contestant should be a full-time student (enrolled in the school year 2007-2008) of a four or five-year undergraduate course in a CHED-recognized tertiary institution in the Philippines.The team coach should be a faculty member or official of the institution.Each institution can send more than one team (subject to the approval of the CSP Executive Committee).Registration fee per person (contestant, coach, or observer) is PhP 1,000 (inclusive of lunch, snacks, contest t-shirt, and certificate of attendance/participation).

Deadlines:

a. All teams should be pre-registered on or before October 10, 2007.To pre-register, send the ICPC 2007 Pre-Registration Form (See Form Below) to the ICPC 2007 Secretariat on or before October 10, 2007.

b. To be considered officially registered, the CSP should receive the registration payments on or before October 15, 2007. Contact Dr. Rafael Saldaña (E-mail: raffysaldana@gmail.com, Tel./Fax.: (02) 426-6125 OR (02) 7090907, Mobile Phone: 0928-5043121) for payment details.


3. Mechanics:

Programming Language: C, C++, or JAVA
Computer Hardware: Pentium-4 PC
Contest Software: PC^2
Number of Problems: 5
Duration of Contest: 3 hours
Note: The decision of the Board of Judges shall be considered final.

4. Program:

10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m - Registration
11 a.m. - 12:00 nn - Opening Session/Contest Orientation
12:00 nn - 1:30 p.m. - Lunch
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Contest Proper
4:30 p.m. - Judges' Deliberation
5:00 p.m. - Awarding/Closing Session

5. Prizes:

The top three teams (first, second, third) will receive trophies and members of the winning teams (including coaches) will receive medals. The team that will garner the first place will receive financial assistance from the Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP) to participate in the 2007 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest Asia-Singapore Site (scheduled in December 2007) in Singapore.

6. Board of Judges:

The following are the members of the Philippine ICPC 2007 Board of Judges:

Dr. Rafael Saldaña (Ateneo de Manila University) - Chair
Dr. Henry Adorna (University of the Philippines - Diliman) - Member
Dr. Eliezer Albacea (University of the Philippines - Los Baños) - Member
Dr. Jaime Caro (University of the Philippines-Diliman) - Member
Dr. Caslon Chua (De La Salle University - Manila) - Member
Dr. Nelson Marcos (De La Salle University - Manila) - Member
Dr. Raymond Todd Melton (Ateneo de Manila University) - Member

7. For more information, contact:

Dr. Rafael P. Saldaña
Director, Philippine ICPC 2007
E-mail: raffysaldana@gmail.com
URL: http://www.csp.org.ph/
Tel./Fax.: (02) 7090907 OR (02) 426-6125
Mobile Phone: 09285043121

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[Cut and Send This Portion]

PRE-REGISTRATION FORM:

THE SECRETARIAT
ICPC 2007
c/o Rm. 317, Mathematics Department
Ateneo de Manila University
Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1108
Philippines
Tel./Fax.: +63 2 4266125 // +63 2 7090907
E-mail: computingsoc@gmail.com
Website: http://icpc2007manila.blogspot.com

__ We would like to participate in the 1st Philippine National Inter-Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC 2007) on October 20, 2007 at De La Salle University - Canlubang.

Name of School/Institution:
Address:
Contact Person:
Position in School/Institution:
Contact Numbers:
E-mail Address:

Full Name of Coaches:

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2.
3.
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5.

Full Name of Contestants / Age / Year Level and Course (Including Alternates):

1.
2.
3.
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6.
7.
8.
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10.
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Full Name of Observers (Indicate whether faculty, staff, or student):

1.
2.
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Notes:

1. The registration fee per person (contestants, alternates, coaches, observers) is PhP 1,000 (inclusive of lunch, snack, contest t-shirt, and certificate of attendance/participation).

2. The ICPC 2007 Secretariat will send you/your school/institution a bill after the pre-registration is received.

3. Payments can be made by cash (via bank deposits) or cheques (payable to the Computing Society of the Philippines).

4. Onsite payments may be considered if a request notice is sent to and approved by the Contest Director (E-mail: raffysaldana@gmail.com).

Pisay '77 and the PSHS Hymn

Today (9/16/07) I started uploading videos in my multiply.com account. One of the video clips I uploaded is the one that I took during the Philippine Science High School Alumni Homecoming last September 1, 2007. The video clip is about my highschool batchmates (PSHS Class of 1977) singing the PSHS Hymn.

Below is the link to the video clip:

http://booleanlogic.multiply.com/video/item/3/pshshymn2007.AVI

PSHS Hymn

(English Version)


Philippine Science High

Thou stands above with thy thoughts that lift

and fit all thy sons with wings

to lend us flight in the sowing of our gifts.

Oh, Philippine Science High

Thy wisdom arms our youth

As we reach for our dreams,

As we strive for our goals,

As we search for the untarnished truth.


Philippine Science High

The PSHS in us will grow

and go as we wander o'er

the crests and troughs

of the sea of life that flows.


Oh, Philippine Science High

Thy light our beacon be

In our path through the world

In our fight for the right

In pursuit of a glorious thee.

Cheers,

Raffy
The Pisay '77 Blogger
9/16/07

On Forgiveness: Time Heals All Wounds

Do you remember the time when you felt it was the end of the world? When you were hurt emotionally because you thought you were betrayed? Or someone close to you did something that for you was unforgivable? Or you committed a serious mistake and you couldn't forgive yourself?

There is an adage that says "Time heals all wounds."

I find this old saying true in most cases. There were many times in the past when I was involved in interpersonal conflicts. But after some time and I look back at those situations, the wounds that I thought could not be healed are now gone.

I think that the key to healing is forgiveness. Sooner or later, we have to forgive -- not only the people that hurt us but also ourselves.

Today's Gospel (Luke 15:1-32) is about healing and forgiveness. The classic story of the 'prodigal son' applies to all of us.

In today's issue of Sambuhay (September 16, 2007) Sister Ma. Gemma Victorino, PDDM, says:

"We are always welcome to repent and return to Him, no matter how many blunders in life we have committed... If after experiencing God's forgiveness, we, too, learn to forgive and be ready to offer a welcoming hand and heart to a sister or brother who seeks to rectify things and live in the joy and peace of a truly reconciled life."

Make this day a meaningful one. Let us learn to ask for forgiveness and to forgive.

(Cartoon Source: http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/t/time_heals_all_wounds.asp )

Raffy
The Pisay '77 Blogger
9/16/07

e-Learning and Pisay

[Photo Caption: This photo was taken during a meeting held at PSHS on September 13, 2007. Members of PSHS Class of 1977 together with other colleagues discussed a proposed e-Learning project for PSHS. The photo includes Dr. Rafael Saldaña (2nd from left), Dr. Jessamyn Yazon (4th from left), and Mr. Ramon Duremdes (5th from left), all members of PSHS Batch '77.]
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"Electronic learning or E-learning is a general term used to refer to computer-enhanced learning. It is used interchangeably in so many contexts that it is critical to be clear what one means when one speaks of 'eLearning'. In many respects, it is commonly associated with the field of advanced learning technology (ALT), which deals with both the technologies and associated methodologies in learning using networked and/or multimedia technologies." (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-Learning )

When I was still the director of the Philippine Science High School-Main Campus in Diliman, Quezon City I proposed a 10-point program for the school's development. The 10-pt. program is called "B.E. C.R.E.A.T.I.V.E." and it includes e-Learning.

Recently, my highschool batchmate (PSHS Class of 1977), Mr. Ramon "Mon" Duremdes, Jr. (president of MobileArts, Inc.) proposed an e-Learning project to be adopted by our batch as part of our on-going 30th anniversary projects for PSHS. Last Thursday, 13 September 2007, Mon and I met with Dr. Jessamyn Yazon (also a member of PSHS '77), the OIC Director of PSHS Diliman, and some colleagues to discuss Mon's proposed e-learning project for PSHS (or Pisay).

As the premier science high school (and public high school) in the Philippines, PSHS is tapping various educational tools to ensure that its mission/vision is attained. Aside from our batch, other PSHS batches, particularly Batch '82, are also contributing to the advancement of e-learning in PSHS.

Raffy
The Pisay '77 Blogger
9/16/07

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dr. Alex Brillantes and the Hazing Incident at U.P.

(Photo Caption: Dr. Alex Brillantes is shown during a public forum.

Last September 13, 2007 I met my friend and colleague, Dr. Alex Brillantes, Dean of the National Center for Public Administration and Governance (NCPAG) of the University of the Philippines-Diliman (U.P.), and his wife, Lulu, at a birthday party of a common friend.

During our brief meeting, I asked Alex about his situation amidst the controversy generated by the death of Cris Anthony Mendez, a 20-year old graduating U.P. student at NCPAG who died recently from hazing, associated with the initiation activity of the Sigma Rho Fraternity of U.P.

Alex told me that he felt very sad about the incident. Lulu also told me that one of the lowest points in Alex's life is to see Cris inside a coffin, surrounded by Cris's grieving family. Cris came from a family of very modest means and he was an honor student since grade school.

I hate to be in Alex's situation now. As a former school administrator (I was a former campus director of Philippine Science High School - Diliman) I know how it feels to be involved in a very stressful situation filled with conflicts.

To Alex, I pray that you be given enough strength to overcome this tragedy.

To the family of Cris Anthony Mendez -- I would like to express my deepest condolences. I also hope and pray that justice would prevail.

Hazing (in all forms) should be banned!

Raffy
9/16/07

Friday, September 14, 2007

Perforins, Biomedical Computing, and Cancer Research

(Figure Caption: Cell apoptosis involving perforins. Source: student.ccbcmd.edu/.../images/adccapoptype2.gif)


I am engaged in biomedical research, particularly in biomedical computing and imaging. My doctoral thesis (in the area of mathematical and computational biophysics) at Monash University (Melbourne, Australia) deals with cell motility, which has implications to the immune system and cancer research.

At the Mathematics Department of Ateneo de Manila University I advise students (undergraduate, masteral, and doctoral levels) doing research in applied mathematics, computational science, and computer science. Some of my students and I have done studies on modeling tumor growth using cellular automata. At present, I have a doctoral student (doing Ph.D. in Mathematics) investigating mutations and other aspects of cancer growth.

I am also collaborating with medical doctors at Medical City, an affiliated hospital of Ateneo de
Manila University. Our research involves medical imaging including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and digital mammograms. I have another doctoral student (doing Ph.D. in Computer Science) who is investigating certain aspects of mammography and grid computing.

Also, I am a co-principal investigator in the ONCO-MEDIA project ( See: http://www.onco-media.com/ ), an international project which is in the area of content-based medical image retrieval with biomedical applications using grid computing.

Recently, I encountered a feature article (Monash University eNews) on perforins done by Monash University researchers. These researchers have found that human immune proteins crucial for fighting cancer, viruses and bacterial infections belong to an ancient and lethal toxin family.

Below is an excerpt from the feature article:

(Source:http://www.monash.edu.au/news/newsline/story/1210)

[startofquote]

Toxic shock: immune system's anthrax link

Human immune proteins crucial for fighting cancer,
viruses and bacterial infections belong to an ancient
and lethal toxin family previously only found in
bacteria, Australian researchers have found.
These proteins, called perforins, are related to
bacterial toxins that cause diseases such as anthrax,
gas gangrene and scarlet fever. The discovery was made
by a team led by Professor James Whisstock and Dr
Michelle Dunstone from Monash University's School of
Biomedical Sciences.


Professor Whisstock, winner of the 2006 Science
Minister's Prize for Life Scientist of the Year, said
the team was stunned when it became clear that the
bacterial toxins and perforins had a common ancestor.

"Over millions of years of evolution bacteria
developed these proteins as weapons of attack," he
said.

"But animals have evolved these proteins for defence
against that attack. It's a molecular arms race and
there's still no clear winner."

Professor Whisstock said perforins were so-called
because they kill bacteria, virally-infected cells and
cancerous cells by punching tiny holes that perforate
them.

"People who lack one of these perforins can develop a
serious blood disease called hemophagocytic
lymphohistiocytosis and may be predisposed to develop
cancer," he said.

"Perforins are also dangerous molecules. They can
create absolute havoc in the immune system if they're
not controlled properly. By understanding how they
work we can find ways to control them in infectious
diseases and areas such as transplantation rejection."
Using X-ray crystallography, the team worked out the
structure of a perforin called Plu-MACPF, which, due
to its similarity to the bacterial toxins, told them
how the whole perforin family worked. Their findings
are published today in the international journal
Science.

Dr Dunstone said the findings were the culmination of
nine years of research.

"Now we finally know what perforins look like and how
they work, we can use this knowledge to develop new
ways to fight disease," she said.

Professor Whisstock said certain perforins were not
only important for defending humans against attack by
bacteria and viruses, but also important for
propagating the human species because of their role in
embryo implantation.

"It is ironic that we fear diseases such as anthrax,
yet from the same family of toxins comes a protein
that is central to human reproduction," he said.

[endofquote]

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Invitation: 3rd East Asia SIAM Conference


Note: I am a member of the East Asia Committee of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (East Asia SIAM). Below is an invitation to the 3rd East Asia SIAM Conference to be held on November 2-5, 2007 in Xiamen, China.

The 3rd East Asia SIAM Conference
November 2-5, 2007Xiamen, China



SIAM Keynote Speakers:

Gene Golub
Stanford University

Andy Wathen
Oxford University

Invited Speakers:

Zhiming Chen
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Xiao-qing Jin
University of Macau

Do Young Kwak
KAIST, Korea

Yoshimasa Nakamura
Kyoto University, Japan

Shinichi Oishi
Waseda University, Japan

Dongwoo Sheen
Seoul National University, Korea

Zuowei Shen
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Wei-wei Sun
City University of Hong Kong

Masahisa Tabata
Kyushu University, Japan

Chuanju Xu
Xiamen University, China

Pingwen Zhang
Peking University, China

Scientific Committee:

Zhong-Ci Shi (Chair)
Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), China

Pham Ky Anh
Vietnam National University

Raymond Chan
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

I-Liang Chern
National Taiwan University

Victor D. Didenko
Universitii Brunei Darussalam

Roger Hosking
Universitii Brunei Darussalam

Nguyen Van Huu
Hanoi University of Science

Xiao-qing Jin
University of Macau

Hyung-Chun Lee
Ajou University

Ping Lin
National University of Singapore

Tom Mitsui
Nagoya University

Michael Ng
Hong Kong Baptist University

Hisashi Okamoto
Kyoto University

Mohd Omar
University of Malaysia

Abdul Rahni
Universiti Sains Malaysia

Rafael P. Saldana
Ateneo de Manila University

Dongwoo Sheen
Seoul National University

Zuowei Shen
National University of Singapore

Haiwei Sun
University of Macau

Tao Tang
Hong Kong Baptist University

Organizers:

Zhong-Ci Shi
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Zhiming Chen
Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Linzhang Lu
Xiamen University

Tao Tang
Hong Kong Baptist University

Chuanju Xu
Xiamen University

Junning Zhao
Xiamen University

Registration, Accommodation and Visa:

All participants in the conference must register before 15 September 2007. The registration fee is 800 Yuan (US$100). All full-time students may register for 160 Yuan (US$20). The registration fee includes conference materials, lunches, tea breaks, a conference banquet and a sightseeing tour. To register, please complete and mail/fax us the attached registration form (doc) (pdf).

The accommodation is at International Conference Center of Xiamen University. Accommodation cost for Standard Room (A) : 360 Yuan (US$47) per day; Standard Room (B) : 320 Yuan (US$42) per day; Standard Room (C) : 260 Yuan (US$34) per day.

To register the conference and book the accommodation, please complete the form (doc) (pdf) and mail/fax it to Ms. LIN Lu (Email:llin@xmu.edu.cn and Fax number: 0086-592-2580608).

To obtain an invitation letter for the visa application to China, please contact Prof. Lu Linzhang (Email: lzlu@xmu.edu.cn).


For more information, visit the Conference website: http://www.math.hkbu.edu.hk/easiam_Xiamen/

Y4IT 2007: Philippine Youth for Information Technology Congress


September 12, 13, & 14, 2007
SM City North EDSA, Quezon City
(Theaters 9, 10, 11, & 12)
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On September 12 - 14, 2007, the biggest information technology event in the country, the Philippine Youth for Information Techology (Y4IT 2007) will be held at SM City North Edsa, Quezon City.
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The main organizer of the event is the University of the Philippines Information Technology Center (UPITTC) headed by my colleague, Dr. Jaime "Jimmy" Caro. Jimmy is also the Assistant Vice-President for Development of the University of the Philippines and the president of the Computing Society of the Philippines or CSP (Note: I am the immediate past president of CSP).
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I will be giving the opening remarks on the third day of the event, Friday, September 14, 2007.
The I.T. event will feature lectures on the following topics:
  • Digital Entertainment
  • Machine Intelligence
  • Digital Libraries
  • Challenges in Automation
  • Information Security
  • Digital Video Production
  • Human Interfaces and Interaction
  • e-Government
  • e-Market Place
  • Network Business
  • ASP and e-Business
  • Job Structures in ITEnterprise
  • Resource Planning
  • Computational Biology
  • Mobile Learning
  • Success Stories in Animation
  • Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Best Practices in the e-Services Industry
  • Latest Trends in Hardware Technology
  • Emerging Technologies
  • 3D Animation
  • Biomedical Robotics
  • On-Line Gaming / MMORPG
Below is the schedule on the 3rd day:
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Third Day: September 14, 2007
SM City North Edsa, Quezon City
Theatre 12

08:00 to 09:00 Registration


09:00 to 09:15 Opening Ceremonies/National Anthem


09:15 to 09:30 Opening Remarks

Dr. Rafael P. Saldaña
Assoc. Prof., Ateneo de Manila University
Former President, Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP)


09:30 to 10:00 Keynote Speaker

Hon. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan
Senator, Senate of the Phlippines

10:00 to 10:45 Ethics in Computer Science

Prof. Rommel Feria
Computer Science Department
University of the Philippines, Diliman


10:45 to 11:00 Break/Intermission

11:00 to 11:45 Success Stories in Animation

Mr. Ranulf Goss
Slycesoft Games Development


11:45 to 12:30
Mr. Jose Timoteo S. Vergel De Dios
Microsoft Philippines

12:30 to 01:30 Lunch Break

01:30 to 02:00 Intermission/Raffle

02:00 to 02:45 Broadband Technology

Invited, plenary speaker
Globe Telecom, Inc.

02:45 to 03:30 Best Practices in e-Services Industry

Mr. Albert Mitchell L. Locsin
Executive Director
Business Processing
Association Philippines (BPA/P)

03:30 to 03:45 Break/Intermission

03:45 to 04:30 Digital Video Production

Invited, plenary speaker from
UP Film Institute, University of the Philippines, Diliman

04:30 to 05:00 Distribution of Certificates
Visit the Y4IT website ( http://y4it.up.edu.ph/ ) for other schedules.
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9/11/07

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Philippine ICPC 2007

Organized by the Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP), the First Philippine National Inter-Collegiate Programming Competition (Philippine ICPC 2007) is a preliminary event associated with the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest.

Date: 20 October 2007 (Saturday)
Venue: De La Salle University-Canlubang Campus, Laguna

Registration:

The Philippine ICPC 2007 is a team competition. Each team consists of three (3) student contestants and a coach. The student contestant should be a full-time student (enrolled in the school year 2007-2008) of a four or five-year undergraduate course in a CHED-recognized tertiary institution in the Philippines.The team coach should be a faculty member or official of the institution.

Each institution can send more than one team (subject to the approval of the CSP Executive Committee).

Registration fee per person (contestant, coach, or observer) is PhP 1,000 (inclusive of lunch, snacks, contest t-shirt, and certificate of participation).

All teams should be pre-registered on or before October 10, 2007.

To pre-register, send e-mail to Dr. Rafael Saldaña at raffysaldana@gmail.com with the subject heading, Philippine ICPC 2007 Pre-Registration.

To be considered officially registered, the CSP should receive the registration payments on or before October 10, 2007. Contact Dr. Rafael Saldaña (E-mail: raffysaldana@gmail.com, Tel./Fax.: (02) 7090907, Mobile Phone: 0928-5043121) for payment details.

Mechanics:

Programming Language: C, C++, or JAVA
Computer Hardware: Pentium-4 PC
Contest Software: PC^2
Number of Problems: 5
Duration of Contest: 3 hours
Note: The decision of the Board of Judge shall be considered final.

Program:

10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m - Registration
11 a.m. - 12:00 nn - Opening Session/Contest Orientation
12:00 nn - 1:30 p.m. - Lunch
1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Contest Proper
4:30 p.m. - Judges' Deliberation5:00 p.m. - Awarding/Clossing Session

Prizes:

The top three teams (first, second, third) will receive trophies and members of the winning teams (including coaches) will receive medals. The team that will garner the first place will receive financial assistance from the Computing Society of the Philippines (CSP) to participate in the 2007 ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest Asia-Singapore Site (scheduled in December 2007) in Singapore.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Rafael P. Saldaña
Director, Philippine ICPC 2007
E-mail: raffysaldana@gmail.com
URL: http://www.csp.org.ph/
Tel./Fax.: (02) 7090907
Mobile Phone: 0928-5043121

Friday, September 7, 2007

Monash University eNews

Monash University is an international university located in Melbourne, Australia. As an alumnus of Monash University (I took up my MSc./Ph.D. studies there) Ireceive regularly the Monash University eNews. Below is a recent news article from the Monahs University e-news that I would like to share with you...
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Celebrating Monash's world-class alumni
September 2007
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On 30 August, Monash celebrated the achievements of seven outstanding graduates at the University’s Distinguished Alumni Awards 2007. The honours, including new categories of awards for young alumni and for service to the Monash alumni network, were presented at a gala awards ceremony at Carousel, Albert Park.

Chancellor Jerry Ellis presented the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Awards to clinician and health academic Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Abu Bakar Suleiman (MBBS 1968, HonMD 1997) and eminent graphic designer Mr Richard Henderson (DipArtDes 1974).

In accepting his award, Tan Sri Abu Bakar reflected on those who taught him at Monash. “I had fantastic role models in the faculty, at the Alfred Hospital and at Prince Henry’s Hospital. These were people who were really great practitioners, but, more importantly, they were people who had very good values. They practiced good medicine, treated the patients very well and were ever-willing to teach,” he said.

As the first Faculty of Art and Design graduate to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award, Mr Henderson spoke about the importance of creativity and how his studies helped shape his future. “The highlight of my time at Monash Uni was actual finding my sense of purpose – to be a creative person. The University nurtured that idea, helped me to express that idea and I met my mentor there. It was the foundation for everything that I have done since,” he said.

(Source: http://www.monash.edu.au/alumni/enews/07-report.html )

I consider myself to be very lucky to have studied at Monash University under an Australian government (AIDADB) scholarship. In my future blog entires, I would like to feature some of my experiences as a student of this prestigious university.
Cheers,

Raffy
The Pisay '77 Blogger
9/8/07

Monday, September 3, 2007

Pisay Homecoming 2007, Part 5









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After the turn-over ceremony (See http://raffysaldana.blogspot.com/2007/09/pisay-homecoming-2007-notes-and-photos.html), our batch (PSHS Class of 1977) had a 'salo-salo' (snacks) with our former teachers at PSHS and current school officials.
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We would like to thank our former teachers/school officials: Ms. Lilian Alfonso (Biology), Mrs. Helen Ladera (English), Mrs. Francisca Yazon (Registrar). We also would like to thank the current PSHS officials who were with us during the turn-over cereomony: Dr. Filma Brawner (PSHS System Executive Director), Atty. Helen Perez, and Dr. Juanita Cruz.
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Maraming salamat po (Thank you very much!)
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9/4/07